Sandy Garson volunteered years ago in our ancient, wood-burning kitchen. She returned many times, to teach about nutrition and to encourage our cooks to try new recipes. Our monk 'nyerpa' (manager/buyer) Karma Lekshey saw how the kids' health improved, and with Lekshey's help, the gospel spread to the monasteries and the nunnery.
Sandy and other volunteers managed to get Thrangu Rinpoche's people interested in growing their own food; the monastery at Namo Buddha and the nunnery, Thrangu Tara Abbey boast organic gardens nowadays, and when SMD moves, and we have enough space, we will have a garden too.
Sandy has just published a book and has dedicated it to Thrangu Rinpoche and the kids at SMD. Veggiyana: The Dharma of Cooking: With 108 Deliciously Easy Vegetarian Recipes . You can find it on Amazon. It's on our wish list!
Sandy started a cooking programme at SMD and has funded it for years. Interested students get to work alongside our cooks on Saturdays. This year, one of our 'Seniors", Urgen Dorje B413 is heading up the project. He wrote the following report.
Last time after providing an egg (for everyone) with the breakfast on Saturday, I was left with Rs. 900 which was not enough for next Saturday. So I was thinking how to use this money for the students and then an idea came into my mind to organize a game related to food and to use the money to buy prizes for the winners.
During the Dashain Vacation (one of the most popular Hindu festivals) we cooking groups organized a game day. We organized different games related with food and drink, games such as a water drinking competition, a pancake eating competition, washing and peeling potatoes, a quiz, etc. The pancakes were all made by the cooking members with the help of some Palas (school cooks). The students enjoyed the games, everyone participated.
Our main objectives behind organizing the event were to get kids interested in cooking and also to give the cooking groups a chance to learn.